BOSTON -- The global health club industry increased clubs and members worldwide but generated about $1 billion less revenue than it did the previous year, according to the 2010 International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Global Report, which was released today.

Global industry revenue reached $67.2 billion in 2009, compared to $68.2 billion in 2008, according to IHRSA. In 2009, there were 128,500 health clubs and 119.5 million members worldwide compared to 122,473 facilities and 117.5 million members in 2008.

“In 2009, the health club industry demonstrated its strength, even while facing a challenging international economy,” Jay Ablondi, executive vice president of global products for IHRSA, said in a statement. “Successful club companies wisely managed expenses, while consumers worldwide attended their health clubs with increased frequency. There is no doubt that consumers continue to value the many benefits of exercise, including, among other things, stress relief. With strong leadership and a firm understanding of consumer needs, global markets should anticipate industry growth in 2010.”

The number of members dropped slightly in North America from 2008 to 2009, but revenue and the number of clubs increased, according to the report. North America had 53.1 million members use 38,192 clubs in 2009 compared to 53.4 million members using 35,759 clubs in 2008. Also, North American clubs generated $23.1 billion in revenue in 2009 compared to $22.7 billion in revenue in 2008.

The biggest revenue decrease occurred in Europe despite it having more members and more clubs. European clubs generated $31.3 billion and had 42.5 million members in 48,087 clubs in 2009 compared to $33.2 billion in revenue with 40.6 million members and 46,736 clubs in 2008.

The biggest increase in global revenue occurred in South American clubs, which generated $1.8 billion in 2009 compared to $1.3 billion in 2008, an increase of 26 percent. South American clubs had 6.4 million members and 21,442 clubs in 2009 compared to 6 million members and 19,638 clubs in 2008.

Numbers for the continents of Asia, Australia and Africa remained virtually the same from 2008 to 2009, although the Asia-Pacific region (including Asia and Australia) generated $10.8 billion and nearly 16 million members in a combined 20,050 clubs in 2009.